Boil the Frog: Rdio Playlist Generator That Gradually Transitions From One Artist to the Next

Boil the Frog
is an interesting, dynamic playlist generator whose goal is to get you from Point A to Point B… without you ever knowing it. The app takes its name from the old anecdote of how a frog, when placed in a slowly heated pot of water, will eventually be cooked to death as a result of not noticing the temperature shift.

A little gruesome (and untrue), but it’s an apt name for what this app is trying to achieve.

Created by Paul Lamere (who, appropriately enough, is Director of Developer Platform over at Echo Nest), the mechanics behind the scenes is just as interesting as the app’s functionality. Utilizing Echo Nest’s info, an artist similarity graph of about 100,000 is used to help chart the playlist’s path:

When a playlist between two artists is created, the graph is used to find the path between the two artists. The path isn’t necessarily the shortest path through the graph. Instead, priority is given to paths that travel through artists of similar popularity.

If you’re an Rdio subscriber (which I am, and I heartily recommend the service) you can save the Playlist there. Even if you’re not a subscriber, you can still hear the songs (albeit in 30 second segments only).

I played around with Echo Nest’s API a long while ago, and it looks like they’ve continued to build up their offerings – lots of cool information to tap into. To see just how much, check out some of the many other great things Lamere’s built over on his website.


Exploring the Echo Nest API

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